UNITEDNATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (UNESCO)
Theheritage of a nation based on cultural and natural properties servesa significant role in the attraction of tourists who visit thecountry to enjoy them. However, the availability of these magnificentsceneries requires protection from natural as well as man-madedisasters threatening their value and integrity. The deterioration ofthese excellent properties would bring about adverse effects bothlocally and internationally. The effects may affect their culturalsignificance as a source of information based on past experiences aswell as the natural significance as a source of identity. Mexicoprides itself as one of the best tourist attractions across the worldfor harboring the coastal lagoons of Ojo de Liebre as well as SanIgnacio. The importance of these sites entails the fact that theyprovide suitable locations for the blue and gray whales to reproduce.Besides, they provide homes for about four species of the endangeredmarine turtle. However, despite the significance of these sites,there exist threats such as deterioration caused by human and naturalsources, extraction of natural resources and developmental pressuresemanating from demographic growth.
Additionally,other threats include uncontrolled tourism resulting from inadequatevisitor management as well as unclear clarification in defining theproperty and its boundaries. According to Röttjer (2015), some ofthe major threats affecting Mexico’s heritage entail managementdeficiencies as well as unmonitored development. These risks affectapproximately 77 percent of properties in Mexico while naturaldisasters account for 67 percent. Similarly, other problems facingMexico based on their cultural and natural heritage entail shortagesin water supply and an increase in the amounts of groundwater. Theseissues contribute towards the major concerns of the nation to securetheir heritage where one significant policy employed entailsmonitoring the country with the aim of understanding how it operatesas well as the preservation of the world heritage sites (Röttjer,2015). The achievement of the policy saw Mexico take part in theUNESCO world heritage activities where it receives acceptance as astate party in 1946. Most importantly, in 1999, Mexico participatedin the campaign against the agenda to expand a salt company tocommercial scale in the last pristine birthing lagoon for the Pacificgray whale. The campaign was launched by the World Heritage communitythat warned the Mexican government in advance against the threatswhich resulted in the refusal of permission for the company (Röttjer,2015).
Theinvolvement of Mexico in activities carried out by the World HeritageCommittee facilitates the reduction of the impact of disasters. Forinstance, research indicates that Mexico harbors buildingsconstructed in traditional techniques and that they have proven quiteprone to quakes (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). However, theirstate membership into the UNESCO convention where their cultural andnatural sites comprise the world`s heritage list in dangerfacilitates in the protection and maintenance of such sites.Similarly, the Mexican government ensures the local protection oftheir cultural and natural heritage through the deployment of a taskforce that focuses on implementing the objectives of the Committee(UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016).
Thecurrent situation in Mexico entails over population where most of thepeople lack job opportunities despite the country having some of theproperties listed on the World Heritage List. These factors lead to adecline in the rates of tourism as most of the local people rely onthe resources available. Additionally, availability of water andtransportation hinder the development of the nation thus bring downthe ambiance of the country that may attract tourists (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016). Most importantly, overpopulation in Mexico drives people toseek for food from the available sources of water and thus bringsabout overfishing that encroaches on the endangered species’habitats. Similarly, Mexico faces the challenges such as maintenanceand mismanagement of the properties. The preservation and managementof the nation and its cities and towns, as well as other monumentsand infrastructure, entails the responsibility of the governmentsectors. However, these areas lack sufficient resources that wouldfacilitate the renovation and maintenance of the monuments (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016).
Nevertheless,the Mexican government incorporates an appropriate approach aimed atsafeguarding world heritage. For instance, Mexico partnered withUNESCO in the objective of strengthening UNESCO’s actions forHeritage Protection (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). Thepartnership focused on protecting, restoring and enhancing the urbanensembles and well as protect the cities which would eventually leadto the identification of solutions. Besides, it also allowed for theproposal of efficient procedures that would hinder encroachment ofhuman activities in the marine sites (UNESCO World Heritage Center,2016).
TheMexican Government employs several strategies in ensuring that theyadhere to the requirements of active tourism and maintenance of worldheritage. The first approach involves the Ministry of Education andCulture as well as the UNESCO and its conventions. Over the lastdecade, Mexico has intensified its operations in safeguarding itscultural and natural heritage through taking part in various UNESCOconventions. For instance, in 2006, Mexico ratified the Convention onthe Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage held in Paris.These were followed closely by the ratification of the Convention onthe Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressionin 2007 (UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2016). The ratification ofthese conventions ensures that Mexico provided relevant policiesnecessary for conserving their cultural and natural heritage.Nevertheless, the achievement of these policies occurs through thegovernment acting as an intermediary between UNESCO standards and theinitiatives of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO World HeritageCenter, 2016).
Consequently,at an international level, the Mexican government supports theactions of the United Nations through its membership since 1946.Additionally, Mexico deployed a task force that handles theinitiatives of UNESCO as well as indicates their cooperation. Forinstance, the team serves on the Governing Board of the UNESCOInstitute for Statistics (“Mexico| United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organization,” 2016). Additionally, thenation also took part in the international meeting on capacitybuilding to support the conservation of world heritage sites. Themeeting focused on the enhancement of sustainable development forlocal communities in small island developing states. The essence oftheir participation included the strengthening of the capacity in thenomination process to the world heritage list. Further, Mexico takespart in the International Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICRP) whereit enhances the state of preparedness within the heritageinstitutions related to disasters of natural or man-made sources.Mexico participates in the promotion of better integration of theprotection of heritage structures, management of local andinternational disasters as well as mitigation and relief operations(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). Besides, Mexico also contributes financiallyto the activities of UNESCO with the aim of facilitating theidentification of threatened heritage sites.
Firstly,Mexico should enhance the management of the protected sites with thegoal of achieving sustainable management of world heritageproperties. Regardless of their undivided devotion to the initiativesof the UNESCO, Mexico desires to see the international communityintensify their attention on maintaining the values of the siteslisted. However, the achievement of such activities would occurthrough dealing with the conservation of locations where immediatechallenges exist. Some of the problems requiring attention includethe development of sites that need an environmental impact assessmentand sustainability through a disaster preparedness program (“Mexico|United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,”2016). Additionally, Mexico hopes that the international communitythrough UNESCO would adopt and implement a management plan thatfocuses on the development of a common goal for the key peopleinvolved in the conservation and management of the sites. Theseshould be coupled with the development of programs and policies formanagers and stakeholders based on tourism in ensuring sustainability(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). The prevalence of such activities requiresthe establishment of a potential impact on the Outstanding UniversalValue of a site that occurs as a result of development in theapplication of environmental and heritage impact assessment. Thesefactors would allow evaluation of positive and adverse effects of theproposed project on the environment as well as social and economicaspects. Most importantly, Mexico wishes that the inherent lack ofcoordination among the various international conventions should beaddressed. They should be coupled with effective monitoring of thesites conservation which would bring about credibility in maintainingthe list and ensuring high standards of protection over time(“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016).
Besides,Mexico should ensure decentralization in the management of naturalresources since most of them are managed centrally with minimalparticipation from communities living nearby. Consequently, Mexicowould like to enhance the assessment of the impacts on heritage withthe aim of clarifying on the potential effects on the heritagevalues. These would be followed closely by the implementation ofproper monitoring systems that will facilitate prior detection ofpossible outcomes on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of theproperties.
Besides,Mexico would like to accomplish the conservation of their naturalresources through broader international efforts that exceed specificsites (“Mexico| United Nations Educational, Scientific and CulturalOrganization,” 2016). The achievement of such activities wouldinvolve the implementation of the factors propagated in theConvention for the Protection of migratory birds and game mammals.The protection of their sites would incorporate a permanent balancebetween the interests of the local communities who depend on thenatural resources and the resolutions of the world heritagecommittee. It would also ensure the employment of skilled andmotivated staff equipped with adequate funding and full support fromlocal communities in conserving and managing tourism activities.These should be followed closely by the development of strong localheritage management institutions that would bring about theestablishment of specific regulations concerning the perimeters andheritage to be safeguarded. There should also be the establishment ofan information and communication policy based on community managementof heritage inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Nevertheless,other member states look up to and work in collaboration with Mexicoin making greater strides in the diversification of the worldheritage list and making it completely balanced and representative ofthe world’s heritage. The state parties in the world heritageconvention consistently add pressure to Mexico to ensure that theirnatural and cultural heritage sites are adequately safeguarded basedon the standards of the committee (“Mexico| United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,” 2016).
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